For Christmas I got a meat grinding attachment for my stand mixer, and so I can finally make my own salsiccia. Italian pork sausage (salsiccia) is an important ingredient for many Italian primi piatti, like risotto al barolo con salsiccia, malloreddus alla campidanese, and pasta with romanesco and sausage. Without the proper sausage, these dishes just won’t taste the same. If you can’t buy good Italian sausage (which should have as ingredients only pork, salt, black pepper, garlic, and white wine), then with a meat grinder you can make your own! (Please note that of course other types of Italian pork sausage exist, for example with fennel seeds or with chilli pepper. But unless otherwise indicated, salsiccia refers to the type with black pepper and garlic only.) For flavorful salsiccia, it is important than the meat is not too lean. I used a mix of 75% pork shoulder and 25% pork belly, but depending on how lean or fatty the meat is, you may need to tweak this mix.
The inspiration for this post (and for asking Santa for a meat grinder in the first place) was a post from the Bartolini kitchens, describing how the Bartolini make their salsiccia. Thanks, John and Zia, for your continuing inspiration. This recipe is quite similar to that of the Bartolini.
To be honest I made a common mistake when I prepared my first batch of salsiccia to inaugurate my new meat grinder attachment. You see, I had neglected to read John’s recipe from start to finish in preparation, and so when it was getting dinner time and I was ready for some sausage making, the first thing I read was “At least 2 hours before beginning, place garlic and wine into a glass and set aside.” And so I opted to add powdered garlic to the salsiccia rather than soaking garlic in the wine, as I didn’t want to wait an additional two hours before having dinner. Both methods are acceptable, but next time I will definitely start earlier and use the Bartolini method.
When I use salsiccia, the first step is always to remove the sausage meat from its casing. So even though my new meat grinder does come with an attachment to stuff sausages, I didn’t bother to put the sausage meat into a casing.
My first salsiccia was a big success, as the malloreddus with fennel and sausage I prepared with it was wonderful. The salsiccia had a more elegant flavor than the store-bought variety.
375 grams of pork shoulder [75%]
125 grams of pork belly [25%]
11 grams of salt [2.2%]
1.5 grams of ground black pepper [0.3%]
50 ml of dry white wine [10%]
5 grams of garlic [1%] or 1 gram [0.2%] of powdered garlic
Cut the meat into 2.5 cm (1″) cubes and mix up the two types of meat.
This creamy corn soup with crab is a very elegant dish for a fancy dinner party or special occasion.